Who We Are

Welcome to the Vanderbilt Brain Institute! We are delighted that you have taken a minute to look at our website, and to learn a bit about the exceptional neuroscience community at Vanderbilt University. The VBI was founded in 1999 as a transinstitutional entity to oversee and facilitate the extensive neuroscience-related endeavors carried out on the Vanderbilt campuses. As such, our primary mission is to promote research, education and training in the brain-related disciplines here at Vanderbilt, with the stated goal of fostering excellence in each of these arenas. Our ranks have grown amazingly in these past eleven years, and we are now comprised of nearly 500 faculty, students and staff who engage in neuroscience-directed research, training and clinical service. These individuals are distributed throughout the Vanderbilt campus, and represent 5 colleges, 22 departments and 27 centers and institutes. One of the primary responsibilities of the VBI is to administer the Neuroscience Graduate Program, one of the nation's leading programs in the predoctoral training of students interested in neuroscience. The Neuroscience Graduate Program is currently made up of 81 graduate students and 64 training faculty, and consistently ranks at the top of national listings of neuroscience graduate programs.

The Vanderbilt Neuroscience Graduate Program offers research opportunities for our trainees that span the breadth of contemporary neuroscience, and includes laboratories conducting basic, translational and clinical research. Peruse our website a bit to learn more about these training opportunities and our academic program.


The VBI was founded in 1999 as a transinstitutional entity to oversee and facilitate the extensive neuroscience-related endeavors carried out on the Vanderbilt campuses.


In addition to this educational mission, the VBI also plays major roles in shaping the neuroscience research activities at Vanderbilt, in facilitating postdoctoral training and in the community outreach. The VBI sponsors the annual Brain Awareness Month activities, which feature a series of public events designed to promote knowledge about the brain and brain-related illness and dysfunction. In concert with the Vanderbilt Silvio O. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research, we are actively involved in creating a world-class neuroscience exhibit at Vanderbilt's One Hundred Oaks clinical campus. Finally, the VBI offers a unique and exceptional method of scientific communication in the publication of Vanderbilt Reviews Neuroscience, the official journal of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and which features the work of our graduate students.

The VBI is housed in Medical Research Building III, a state-of-the-art research facility that sits at the transition between the Medical and University campuses. The beautiful Vanderbilt campus encompasses 330 acres in the West End neighborhood of Nashville, and is a national arboretum showcasing over 300 unique trees and shrubs. Nashville, known nationally as the Music City, is the center of a vibrant metropolitan area made up of nearly 1.5 million people. The city is renowned for its culture and nightlife and is quickly becoming one of the gastronomic capitals of the new South. Both professional and collegiate sports are a passion here, and the wonderful climate paired with proximity to beautiful lakes and mountains make the area a mecca for outdoor adventures.

We hope that you take this opportunity to learn more about the VBI, and we look forward to welcoming you to our thriving and energetic neuroscience community here at Vanderbilt!

Yours in science,

Ronald B. Emeson, Ph.D. 
Director, Vanderbilt Brain Institute 

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